One of our followers responded to our email asking “what’s your biggest marketing challenge” with this: “how can I be sure I’m not bothering my followers too much with my marketing?”

Let’s dispel a few myths: you are intruding on your customer’s lives.

If you’re a small business and someone liked your business feed on Instagram, or joined your Facebook group or signed up on your e-mail list, they WANT to hear from you. In fact, they want to hear from you more often than you think they do. Why? They love your work/service/product and want to know more!

Invite them into your workspace. Do you have a creative behind-the-scenes opportunity to share your process, inspiration or day-to-day business process? Share that! You have DAILY opportunity to photograph your work – even small details of your work (if your studio is messy, say, or your desk is covered in the workings of a small business.) In fact, each day is an opportunity to educate, inform and delight your followers.

Invite them to collaborate on a design or process. They LOVE to have their opinions heard and love even more when you DO them! Ask your customers regularly what they want and they’ll surprise and delight you. Invite them to see part of your process (if it’s applicable) through photos, video and written content that inspires them. They truly DO want to see how you work.

Create content just for them. We regularly create video content for specific questions customers ask on social media. It’s that specific and they love it. We’ve created a video to answer a single customer question and many others have appreciated the answer to the question that they hadn’t even had time to ask yet. If you’re working on a product or service that is designed for a specific kind of customer, show them a sneak peek or a snippet.

Engage them across multiple platforms and channels. Some content you’ll share is perfect for Instagram or Facebook or YouTube. Some is perfect for Pinterest or Linkedin. Share content – tweak it for the platform you’re on – across all your social platforms. AND, no matter what, share it on email at LEAST weekly. Yep, that’s right. Weekly. Most people don’t see every email you send and if you send just once a month, they might only see email from you a few times a YEAR. If you send weekly, you’ll catch them at least once per month.

Repurpose content and re-frame it for multiple media channels. If you’re producing a live video for Facebook, produce a recorded version (longer) for YouTube, expanding on what you’ve talked about on Facebook or Instagram Stories. If you’re sharing an idea or concept, produce an evergreen piece of content for your blog, a specific Pinterest pin for it, omitting any time-sensitive information like coupon codes or special offers in the Pinterest post images.  We recommend you calendarize your content planning, starting with strategy (where your business is going), then build the calendar (how you’re going to get there) from that. Each week’s topic is prepared in advance, with email and social posts crafted from the week’s topic. You can fill in around the edges with the one-off posts that showcase a day in the life or a topic that has just come up from a customer comment.

People will FIND your business online for what you TALK ABOUT online – so be sure your web site, your blog and your social channels all talk about what you want to be found for, on a regular basis.

Use social media opportunity to convert someone to an e-mail subscriber. Email is still the killer app of marketing – it converts at a much higher rate than social media does. It’s not a replacement for social media, but it augments it and helps convert customers who are just browsing on social to leads on your website, complete with names and  (most critically,) contact information.  To convert, they need to land on a page on your site that has the ability for them to subscribe – so each blog post or each page should be outfitted with at least an exit-intent popup, if not another offer to subscribe right on the page.